TROY DROPS AP FOR 1ST PLACE IN CAP­I­TAL

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Joe Boyle jboyle@digitalfirstmedia.com @BoylerAlertTroy on Twit­ter

TROY >> Troy High Foot­ball is the of­fi­cial first place team in the Cap­i­tal Di­vi­sion en­ter­ing the Sec­tion 2 Class A play­offs with their 24-12 win over Aver­ill Park Fri­day night.

With the win, Troy fin­ishes with a 5- 0 con­fer­ence record. Aver­ill Park takes the sec­ond spot with a 4-1 con­fer­ence record.

“We have got a home play­off game next week against Ball­ston Spa,” said Aver­ill Park Head Coach Zachary Go­bel. “From a men­tal stand­point are we go­ing to be able to over­come it? I’ve seen this group over­come a lot, they’ve seen a lot go on, so I have a lot of con­fi­dence in them.”

Aver­ill Park fight con­tin­ued to the fi­nal whis­tle, but the Troy de­fense got off the line very quickly and put pres­sure on the Aver­ill Park of­fense.

“We didn’t read things very well,” said Go­bel on the out­side rush of Troy’s de­fen­sive backs. “Tonight was a game that was more men­tal break down than phys­i­cal break down. We’re go­ing to be dis­ap­pointed when we look at the film from that stand­point.”

Xavier Leigh was the stand out of­fen­sive weapon for Troy Fri­day night. Leigh fin­ished with a re­ceiv­ing and rush­ing touch­down, both of which eclipsed sixty yards on the play. Leigh fin­ished with un­of­fi­cially 96 yards on the ground Fri­day.

Aver­ill Park got the of­fense

go­ing first. Joe Mag­ill broke free of the line and rushed for an im­pres­sive 65 yard touch­down. Mo­ments later, Troy re­sponded with a four yard Xavier Ward run to the end zone.

Both early touch­downs had two point con­ver­sion at­tempts that failed. The game was knot­ted at six af­ter the first quar­ter.

In the sec­ond, Carl Nitz grinded through the line and punched in a one yard run that gave the War­riors a 12- 6 lead with 6:17

re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Nearly two min­utes later, Leigh broke for a 67 yard touch­down run, show­ing off im­pres­sive speed and high­light reel foot­work danc­ing his way into the end zone.

Troy scored its third touch­down with un­der a minute re­main­ing in the first half. Jalen El­bert picked up a loose fum­ble from a crowd of his Troy team­mates and pushed his way a long 55 yards to score six more for the Fly­ing Horses.

The third quar­ter was a back and forth be­tween two run games run­ning

into stal­wart de­fenses. Aver­ill Park con­tin­ued to push their run game on the ground, look­ing for holes in the de­fense to ex­ploit.

“There was ab­so­lutely some­thing in the de­fense that told me that was go­ing to work,” said Go­bel. “You saw what we hap­pened when we ex­e­cuted. You saw what hap­pened when we didn’t ex­e­cute. You got a pic­ture of both of them.”

It wasn’t un­til the 11:48 mark in the fourth quar­ter that the first touch­down was scored in the half.

On a flea flicker play, Warde heaved a deep ball to the streak­ing Leigh, who caught it mid stride and

fin­ished the 81 yard pass­ing play in the end zone for his sec­ond touch­down of the night.

Leigh’s grab made the score 24-12, and that is where it would stand.

De­spite the loss, Go­bel and the War­riors are con­fi­dent go­ing into the play­offs.

“We are dis­ap­pointed in the loss,” said Go­bel. “The ques­tion we’ve asked our­selves all sea­son is stolen straight from Nick Sa­ban’s speech at the be­gin­ning of the year on tough­ness and it’s, ‘ what will it take to break you?’ I don’t see them be­ing bro­ken. We’ll find out next week, but I don’t see them be­ing bro­ken.”

Xavier Ward tak­ing a hand off from quar­ter­back Alex Wolfe Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 12, at Troy High.

Aver­ill Park Quar­ter­back An­thony Chil­drose breaks free of the pocket Fri­day night at Troy High.

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